Sintra
Archaeology

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Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

1. Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

The palace is situated in the eastern part of the Park of Pena, which one has to pass through to reach the steep ramp built by the Baron of Eschwege that provides access to the castle-like building. The palace itself is composed of two wings: the former Manueline monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and the wing built in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II. These wings are ringed by a third architectural structure that is a fantastical version of an imaginary castle, whose walls one can walk around and which comprises battlements, watchtowers, an entrance tunnel and even a drawbridge. In 1838, King Ferdinand II acquired the former Hieronymite monastery of Our Lady of Pena, which was built by King Manuel I in 1511 on the top of the hill above Sintra and had been left unoccupied since 1834 when the religious orders were suppressed in Portugal. The monastery consisted of the cloister and its outbuildings, the chapel, the sacristy and the bell tower, which today form the northern section of the Palace of Pena, or the Old Palace as it is known. King Ferdinand began by making repairs to the former monastery, which, according to the historical sources of that time, was in very bad condition. He refurbished the whole of the upper floor, replacing the fourteen cells used by the monks with larger-sized rooms and covering them with the vaulted ceilings that can still be seen today. In roughly 1843, the king decided to enlarge the palace by building a new wing (the New Palace) with even larger rooms (the Great Hall is a good example of this), ending in a circular tower next to the new kitchens. The building work was directed by the Baron of Eschwege. The 1994 repair works restored the original colors of the Palace’s exterior: pink for the former monastery and ochre for the New Palace. In transforming a former monastery into a castle-like residence, King Ferdinand showed that he was heavily influenced by German romanticism, and that he probably found his inspiration in the Stolzenfels and Rheinstein castles on the banks of the Rhine, as well as Babelsberg Palace in Potsdam. These building works at the Palace of Pena ended in the mid-1860s, although further work was also undertaken at later dates for the decoration of the interiors. King Ferdinand also ordered the Park of Pena to be planted in the Palace’s surrounding areas in the style of the romantic gardens of that time, with winding paths, pavilions and stone benches placed at different points along its routes, as well as trees and other plants originating from the four corners of the earth. In this way, the king took advantage of the mild and damp climate of the Sintra hills to create an entirely new and exotic park with over five hundred different species of trees. The Palace of Pena was designated a National Monument in 1910 and forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1995.

Sintra: Legends and Medieval Stories Private Walking Tour

2. Sintra: Legends and Medieval Stories Private Walking Tour

The tour starts in the Historic Center of Sintra as you meet your guide for the day, an expert historian and researcher. Listen to an insightful introduction to the medieval history of Sintra and how this has influenced the region today. Learn about the true origins and legends of Sintra and hear fascinating stories that although might seem fictional, are in fact true. As you walk up to Sintra castle, find remnants of historical legends along the way and listen to your guide revive the past with his commentary. Learn about the Reconquista and its impact on the castle as well as its importance to the city. At the top of the castle, from a carefully selected watchpoint, admire the views across Sintra and hear your guide share information about the old Portuguese and Medieval chronicles. Learn about the intriguing legends and stories of Medieval Sintra, such as the dishonest monks who once lived here, feuding neighbors, and a carpet made of treetops. There’s also plenty of opportunities to marvel at the landscape of Sintra at a selection of view points that overlook Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and Sintra National Palace.

Faro: Mystic and Romantic Sintra Tour

3. Faro: Mystic and Romantic Sintra Tour

Join this mystical and romantic tour and go back in time to visit the ancient village of Sintra. You'll walk through historical roads whilst observing the surrounding vegetation, which is bound to provide you with a relaxing sensation. Sintra is one of the most romantic villages in Portugal, and whilst there you will learn of the role that it had for the Portuguese monarchy. You'll also discover famous myths surrounding Pena Palace, exactly what sits inside the Seteais Palace, and why there is a labyrinth in Quinta da Regaleira. You will visit the famous Sintra Mountain and the Pena Park and Palace, with plenty of time for you to explore the grounds. Get ready to experience Sintra from a different perspective, as your local charismatic guide reveals interesting facts about the ancient village.

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What people are saying about Sintra

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 4 reviews

Beautiful castle and grounds. Purchasing tickets online was easy. I would just recommend going as early in the morning as possible, which is what we did. By the time we were leaving the lines looked horrendously long. Thankful that we didn’t have to wait in any lines

Absolutely loved this experience. We went on a rainy day super early in the morning. There was not a huge crowd so we were able to explore the Palace and grounds easily. Would highly recommend!

This tour was one of the best I think we have been on, prompt and well worth the money. The guide was a joy to talk to and very very knowledgeable

Nice place to visit and we reached slightly late as our can driver took a wrong route but luckily they let us in.

Great place and happy i purchased the tickets in advance.